Ryan Day Says “NIL Combined with the Transfer Portal” is the Hardest Part of His Job As Ohio State’s Coach

By Garrick Hodge on June 2, 2023 at 9:20 am
Ryan Day

Name, image and likeness benefits have been one of the focal points of college athletics in the last two years since the NCAA’s ban on NIL ended in 2021.

Since then, many Ohio State athletes have profited from various NIL deals. But Ryan Day says it’s also caused more than a few headaches for him and his staff, especially where the transfer portal is concerned. Day was a guest on the first episode of More Than Coach Speak, a podcast created by Ohio State men's basketball head coach Chris Holtmann and director of professional development Terence Dials, a former standout for the program under Thad Matta.

Holtman asked Day what the hardest part of his job was (around the 24:15 mark), and he opened up about some of his experiences with NIL the past few seasons. 

“Just in terms of college football, I would say, the NIL combined with the transfer portal,” Day said in response to Holtmann’s question. “What ends up happening in the NIL space as you know is a lot of the opportunities that our players have in NIL are outside of the university. We all like to be in control as coaches, but a lot of times you feel a little bit out of control because it’s not something that’s done within the university confines. That makes it very clunky. I can’t even imagine any other industry where that would be the case. The only way I can describe it would be like if the New England Patriots were playing and Coca-Cola down the street is paying their players to play for the New England Patriots. It doesn’t even really make sense. I think that’s hard.

“The portal stuff kind of puts us in a tough space. A lot of that is because of the (NIL) agents. Once the agents got into this, boy, it’s put us in some tough spots. They’re all trying to represent and look out for the people that they work for, so I get what they’re doing. Certainly, I have an agent, and they all have a place, but when we put them into this space, boy, it made it really challenging for all of us.”

Day, along with Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith, are among those in college athletics who have called for more regulation of NIL in regards to recruiting. Nevertheless, Ohio State has become more active in helping its players arrange NIL deals by working with three collectives currently supporting Ohio State athletes: The 1870 Society, Cohesion Foundation and The Foundation.

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